Seen & Heard on Planet Coug

IN A WORLD AS competitive as college football, a natural question arose Saturday after Eric Oertel recovered that OSU fumble with just less than two minutes left in the game and the ball on the Beaver 43: Just as Mike Riley did a couple years ago in a rout of WSU, should the Cougs fire up a couple long balls to the end zone in hopes of racking up a purely gratuitous TD?

That happy debate did take place on the Cougar sideline. One assistant coach in particular was advocating for the "paybacks are hell" option. And as enticing as that sounded to him, head coach Paul Wulff – who truly is one of the classiest guys in college ball – said no. "It's just not something I'm comfortable with," Wulff said. "We're going to take the knee," he told his staff.

At game's end, Wulff may have wished he had piled on. By my count, 80 percent of the Beaver players made a beeline for the locker room as soon as the whistle blew. Talk about bush league. Win, lose or draw, you always shake hands with the opponent.

Riley has always had an altar boy reputation but I think the guy is weak. When he was with the San Diego Chargers, he never once came to rookie Ryan Leaf's aid when things started to crumble that first year. And in that game with the Cougars in 2008, which the Beavs won 66-13, Riley showed his true colors when QB Sean Canfield fired a long pass for a TD in the fourth quarter even though the game was already a laugher at 59-13. Riley defended the call afterward by pleading that poor Canfield hadn't had a chance to throw a TD pass in a whole year. He also issued a non-apology apology, saying, "I feel bad that they feel bad about it."

Anyone remember the last time Marshall Lobbestael fired a TD pass? I'm sure he would have loved to on Saturday, too. But class should outweigh greed.

Some guys are born reprobates and they make no bones about it, like Bobby Knight. While unappealing, at least they're honest. Riley is just the opposite -- he puts on a nice guy façade but inside he's really an asshat.

HATS OFF TO COUGAR QB Jeff Tuel, who has been named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts in Corvallis.

Tuel completed 10 of 15 passes for 157 yards and no interceptions, including a 33-yard touchdown pass to Marquess Wilson. He also engineered an offense that held the ball for more than 40 minutes against OSU.

And oh, right, he also ran for a career-high 79 yards on 18 carries. Take away sacks, and he had close to a 100 ground hashes!

COUGAR FRESHMAN linebacker C.J. Mizell's out-of-bounds tackle on Jacquizz Rodgers on the first snap of the game Saturday drew ire from observers on both sides of the field. In fact, WSU radio commentator Jim Walden was so incensed by it that he was moved to quote legendary Woody Hayes, who once opined that for every freshman you start, you lose one game.

At the end of this 31-13 WSU victory, however, Cougar fans on the CF.C message board were suggesting that Mizell's hit – and taunting of OSU fans -- set the tone for the day. And by golly, Wulff said they were right. "I think it did, (but) I wasn't thinking that at the time," said Wulff, who was clearly outraged when Mizell committed the infraction. "But I also knew our players were ready to come out to play a physical game."

Video highlights of the WSU win over the Beavs can be found on WSU Athletics' YouTube page. Click here: .

ON THE BASKETBALL FRONT, I couldn't help but do a double take when I saw that the Cougar women were doubled-up on by UC Davis on Sunday. It was so bad that even if the CouGals had made 50 percent of the their 19 three-point attempts instead of the zero that they actually did, the score would still have been a wipeout. The Cougs are off to a miserable start. They lost to St. Mary's by three on Friday and a week ago in an exhibition against Lewis & Clark State they barely pulled it out.

So what's the problem? Two things, I believe. First, leading scorer April Cook is still recovering from a disc issue in her back and has not played yet. And second, there are five youngsters who have seen a ton of minutes so far: true freshmen Sage Romberg, Brandi Thomas and Hana Potter, redshirt freshman Ireti Amojo, and JC transfer point guard Rosetta Adzasu. And don't forget that Carly Noyees, who is averaging 25 minutes a game so far, is a true sophomore.

As George Raveling would say, "Wait until their old enough to shave!" Or something like that.

Get Cook back in the fold and get those youngsters feeling more comfortable with the system and with each other and I think you'll see things turn around.

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